Numerous studies have looked at the effects of screen time on kids, but a new study offers surprising findings: Playing video games may actually boost a child’s intelligence. In a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers at the Karolinska Institute studied roughly 5,000 children aged 9 and 10 for two years. Each child completed a cognitive test at the beginning and end of the study. Data was collected on whether each child’s screen time involved watching, socializing or gaming. After two years, social media use was not associated with any change in intelligence. However, children who spent the most time gaming increased their IQ about 2.5 points more than the average child over two years. The researchers believe their findings show that screen time generally doesn’t impair children’s cognitive abilities and that playing video games can actually help boost intelligence. It’s hard to know from this study whether specific types of video gaming are better for the brain than others. It also doesn’t suggest parents should allow their kids to play endless amounts of video games.
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